Running and brisk walking are both very common forms of cardio. It doesn’t matter if you walking in the park or running on the treadmill, as long as you’re exercising that’s what counts…right? Both these forms of exercise promote weight loss, improve your energy levels, better your sleeping habits and reduce the risk of diseases overall. But there is a science behind everything, so why not let science answer the universal question of running vs walking?
First, let’s break it down into calories burned per form of exercise. Here are some statistics for a person who weighs 70 kilograms. If you’ll walk at a speed of approx 5 km/h, you’d lose approximately 317 calories in an hour. If you’d increase this pace to 6.5km/h you’ll burn around 375 calories. Now let us compare these figures to running. If you run at the speed of 8 km/h you’ll burn around 600 calories per hour. If you’ve got good stamina and great lungs, and you can manage to run at 16 km/h you’ll burn a whopping 1300 calories!
A Dutch researcher conducted a study where he found that running for five minutes per day amounts to the same health benefits you’ll get by walking 15 minutes per day. This implies that running delivers quicker and more effective health benefits than walking does. But it is important to keep in mind that running has a high risk of injury, while walking does not. This is because you might tend to over-do it while running and without realizing you’ll have pulled a muscle or hurt your knees. While you’re walking, you can even brisk walk at your own pace which greatly reduces the risk of an injury.
According to the American Heart Association, walking is just as effective as running when it comes to lowering the risk of heart disease. The only real difference between the two is that you’ll have to spend more hours walking than you’d spend running (in a week, of course) to get the same health benefits.
Image source: https://www.wimbledonclinics.co.uk/resources/benefits-of-running-walking
So back to the real question, running vs walking? Essentially, the health benefits are the same. So, it just depends on your age, body type and level of daily fitness. If you’re older than 50, most doctors would recommend walking simply because it won’t be too hard on your body. If you’ve got medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease or asthma then it is always recommended to choose walking over running. But if you’re a young fitness enthusiast, then you should be running. Start slow and keep increasing your pace as well as total running time every day – that is the best way to get your body used to running. And if you’ve got health on your side but running isn’t really your thing, why not do both? Run for 3 minutes and walk for 5, continue this pattern or change it up however you feel.
What are your thoughts on running vs walking? Let us know your thoughts in comments below!